Raaga signifies the glorious divine music of the Lord. It is the happiness that evolves through the meeting of Nar-Nari (Lord -Devotee). This very state is felt by the "Suhagans" of Lord, and is indescribable.
The Raaga (Raag) itself is the feed for the soul, and the soul flourishes when it absorbs the heavenly music of the Lord. The Raag is a medium of pure state that connects us to the pure one. It acts as a catalyst (enhancer) for the spiritual seeker, and thus helps in connecting with the Almighty. The true understanding of this occurs when one is moving towards the purity (true worship of the Lord) with devotional worship (prema bhagti), and total truthful living (puran sachiari rehat).
The Lord Himself is the creator of the Raag. Raag and Raagni are the two sides of a scale. From it came Adam and Eve in the dargah (Heaven). From Him came Sun & Moon, Heaven & Hell, Day & Night, Poem of Love – the notes in sat-saagar (seven sarovars). The whole Universe is moving under His will in a very melodious manner. The Anhad-Naad as described in SGGS Ji is a Raag of various unique sounds blended in a harmonious manner.
The Sound-current of the Naad vibrates there,
and countless musicians play on all sorts of instruments there.
The baby’s laughter and cries are the true love -Raag / Raagni. The meeting of male & female in sohaag is Raag / Raagni. The Gurmukhs listen to this day and night.
The Unstruck Melody constantly vibrates within;
my mind is exalted and uplifted-I am lovingly absorbed in the Lord.
Now, if we look back at the history of Ten Guru times – Guru Nanak Ji Himself sang the Bani in various Raagas with the melodious music played by Baba Mardana Ji. The Gurbani quoted in SGGS Ji is Dhur Ki
Bani – was conveyed by the Gurus and Bhagats exactly the way it came to them. As we notice in SGGS Ji -most of the Bani is quoted in Raagas. The bani is a perfect wisdom of the Lord that one has to listen to, live by, and experience all the time. The meaning of this brahmgyan translates in a pure manner when one is truly going through the deep samadhi experiences. The pure notes that the Gurmukh listens to are unexplainable, indescribable, and cannot be duplicated. The melody of the heavenly musicians cannot be put in finite terms.
The Unstruck Celestial Music vibrates for them at the Lord’s Door,
and they are honored at the True Door. ||3||
The Raagi-Kirtaniyas during the times of Gurus used to sing Gurbani in pure Raagas. The knowledge of pure Raagas has diminished over the time, yet we find kirtan from few Raagis still in Raagas, such as Bhai Samund Singh, Bhai Bahadur Singh, Bhai Dilbag Singh, Bhai Avtaar Singh, Bhai Jawalla Singh, Bhai Chand (from the generations of Baba Mardana Ji).
By great good fortune, one sings the Kirtan of God’s Praises.
Guru Nanak Sahib went to Baghdad during one of his long trips (Udasi). At one time Baba started singing Gurbani in Raaga around mid-night. The venue happened to be in the vicinity of the dera of Peer Bahabul Din – a Muslim Saint. Guru Ji was opposed by the radical ones as the music is not accepted amongst radical Muslims. Guru Patshah gave this godly wisdom to the Muslims including the Peer that Raaga is the creation of the Lord, and singing His praise in Raaga only creates bliss.
If you attach the same Ragga with a wrong doing of lustful dance, and get absorbed in it. This can be the source of the hell for you. The Raag itself is pure, and adulterating it with evil deeds only creates the ill results.
Raag-Raagni is God’s own desire to know Himself by unfolding His Samadhi after 36 Yugs, and to glorify Himself in the dance of meeting, separation and then meeting again. He created this play of Love Himself. Raag was deaf mute (pingla) at creation, and Raagni was the first sound.
Meeting her Husband, the soul-bride sings the songs of joy,
and celebrates her Lord and Master.
The Raag Maalla mentioned at the end of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji provides a brief description of various Raags and Raagnis. It is a part of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It is an index of various Raags & Raagnis as such. One can truly understand these definitions in the true Samadhi experiences (abhias) with His blessings. All the notes are married in a pure rhythmic state in a pure raag. The raags are embodiment of pure feelings or states of pure emotions blended with various parts of day and night. It is true that all the Raagas listed in SGGS Ji are not enlisted in Raag-Maalla. What do we know about this?, and should be engage in any such assessments?
The sole purpose of a Lord’s devotee is to enlighten the very self. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is Dhur Ki Bani – the godly wisdom communicated through various Brahmgyanis (Gurus & Bhagats). One ought not to indulge in getting in the very fine details, and any such backgrounds of this brahmgyan. The Lord is infinite – beyond explanation, and so is His wisdom. In fact we have to break our scaling abilities, and empty up ourselves like a little baby. Daas can try describing one of the personal experiences here.
Daas was casually sitting down in the living room (of course with His company) one day. A quote (hymns) from SGGS Ji came in the thoughts, and the urge was there to analyze, and understand it completely. A trace of ego was building in. A set of meanings and explanation walked through the mind. The meanings of the very quotes kept on changing every few seconds, everytime the mind tried going a bit deeper into the Gurbani. Daas went through this process for couple minutes, and then the Lord conveyed the message – "I am beyond description, and no one can understand Me, My Bhagats, and My Divine Wisdom in complete".
No one knows Your limits.
Daas apologized before the Lord, and begged for nothing but His limitless love. Daas is grateful to the Lord to clarify this bharam sooner.
A similar situation occurred with Bhai Sahib Bhai Vir Singh Ji many years back. He was engaged in writing the translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji over few years of his efforts. Bhai Sahib Ji got into severe depression as he was coming closer to the completion of this task. He isolated himself completely from everyone, and instructed his sevadar (servant) not to let anyone come to his room. The sevadar was asked to keep log entries of all the visitors so that he could communicate with the visitors later on. The Lord sent Brahmgyani Baba Harnaam Singh Ji Rampur Kheda Wale to visit Bhai Sahib Ji. Baba Ji had never physically seen or met Bhai Sahib Ji before this (yet they were soul mates).
As Baba Ji was talking to the sevadar, Bhai Vir Singh ji realized (through his anbhav) this. He asked sevadar in a loud voice (from a deep room) to send Baba Ji in. Upon asking by Baba Ji, Bhai Sahib Ji explained the reason for his depression: He was occupied in writing the translation of SGGS Ji for quite sometime. Now that he is almost near the end, he is realizing that the translation he did in the earlier days is not accurate anymore (the meanings now are a lot different), and this is worrying him a lot. His biggest worry is if this translation gets out to the public, it is going to do a disservice by locking the finite explanation of infinite brahmgyan. It can mislead many spiritual seekers. This was the reason for his depression.
So, the point here is that the meanings of the Gurbani for an individual relates to his or her spiritual state. The meanings take a different turn as the level of purity in devotee’s mind is elevated,.
The Gurbani is the most precious jewel of all. The mind itself is analogous to a mirror. The clarity in the mirror goes up as it gets cleaner.
If you want to know more about Him or His wisdom, seek for the company of His saints or brahmgyanis. Do not get trapped into the illusion of deh-pooja though. You have to serve the Guru (True Master) selflessly, and get his blessings to accomplish the salvation as was done by Bhai Lehna Ji. Bhai Lehna ji saw the Lord in Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Bhai Lehna ji was destined to get the salvation through Guru Nanak’s blessings. With his total surrender, utmost faith and service, he eventually became the Nanak himself –
"Guru Angad". The Lord Himself does not take birth, or has any shape or color. Yet, he becomes apparent through His bhagats. SGGS Ji quotes –
When this soul and that Lord are blended, then,
having been blended, they cannot be known separately. ||38||
We ought to read or listen to the Gurbani and act on the brahmgyan. The meanings will come out as the spiritual state elevates. We cannot conceal the Infinite Lord, who liberates us. We should simply engage in a selfless prema-bhagti (devotional-love), and get out of any scaling ideas. He is beyond any of our imagination, and He Himself is the scale of Total Love (self).
God Himself is the balance scale, He Himself is the weigher,
and He Himself weighs with the weights.
The holy SGGS Ji has captured some of His numerous Raagas. The Raagas are also there in Western, Japanese, and European Classical Music. They are labeled or identified differently but sur-gyan or notes are the same. God loves his entire creation (including Sikhs) without any discrimination. He has blessed all of his creation with His divine musical notes. Daas has happened to listen to creations of some musicians and vocalists including Mozart, Luciano Pavarotti, Zubin Mehta, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ravi Shanker, Yanni, Master Madan etc. The state of happiness resulted from these pure notes is not any different from Gurbani Raagas. The bliss (Amrit) from the pure musical notes is always there, and we just need to realize it.
The Sound-current of the Naad vibrates there,
amidst the sounds and the sights of bliss.
This realization of this glorious music of the Almighty happens when your mind (Hirda) is in a pure state. This again happens with His blessing only.
By His Glance of Grace,
we are lovingly attuned to the Sound-current of the Naad. ||1||Pause||
The true essence of Raaga is only experienced in the elevated spiritual states. The blessed ones (Gurmukhs) live through this with their total selfless devotional love for Him. They are attuned to the pure notes of pure ambrosial love- the heavenly music of Lord – Raaga, all the time.
This write-up is made possible by the blessings of a puran brahmgyani , Sant Satguru Baba Ji and the Almighty.
A Humble Servant.
The Sikh Gurus and Indian Saints before them poured out their hearts to
the Divine. They used Indian clasical music, and
their words are considered to be the Words of God. They are
great to meditate upon, even if you dont understand them – spiritually
you will. Close your eyes , go into meditation and let the divne music
stir your soul.
website with kirtan